Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Opiliones (Harvestmen)
Species Dicranopalpus ramosus sensu lato (pre 2015) (Simon, 1909)
Body length up to 6 mm.
Dicranopalpus ramosus has notably forked pedipalps, and it is often found on walls and vegetation with its legs stretched out to its sides and its forked pedipalps pointing forward. The males are darker than the females with a characteristic ‘Zorro mask’ across the eyes.
A fierce hunter which prays on other invertebrates, seen August to September in woodland, hedgerows and gardens.
Originally discovered in Morocco, Dicranopalpus ramosus spread to Europe in the early 1940s, and was reported in Bournemouth, Dorset, in 1956. It has become well established throughout Britain, reaching Scotland in 2000. It is now regarded as a frequent species.
A new scientific paper proposes that Dicranopalpus caudatus is a valid separate species from Dicranopalpus ramosus rather than just a different name for the same harvestman. The two species, which occur in the same range, cannot be told apart without a microscope, hence the agg. or senso lato, which puts the two species together when recording sightings.
Male and female, back garden and local woodland, South Staffordshire. © Peter Hillman.
Species recorded and verified via iRecord.